Smart Wind, which comprises Siemens, Dong Energy and Mainstream Renewable Power, applied to the UK planning inspectorate for the 1.2GW project one stage of the development.
Project one covers 407 square miles (1,054 square kilometres) and is located in the North Sea, 103 miles (166 kilometres) off the coast of England.
Mainstream said that following the approval of the application, a final recommendation is expected by the end of 2014. The project could then proceed to construction, although this is still dependent on the final investment decision being made.
A second application for a further 1.8GW will go before UK permitting authorities next year.
The 3GW of proposed capacity will comprise four distinct wind farms: Heron Wind, Njord, Optimus Wind and Breesea. All four projects are jointly owned by Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens Financial Services and Dong Energy, with each party holding a third of each project.
Dong's involvement as a co-developer of the first four projects has been agreed since development rights were originally awarded by the Crown Estate in 2010.